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 Post subject: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:54 am 
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Nicholas Ray (1911-1979)

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There was theatre (Griffith), poetry (Murnau), painting (Rossellini), dance (Eisenstein), music (Renoir). Henceforward there is cinema. And the cinema is Nicholas Ray. - Jean-Luc Godard

Filmography

Lightning Over Water (1980)
Marco (1978)
We Can't Go Home Again (1976)
Wet Dreams (1974) (segment "The Janitor")
55 Days at Peking (1963) Tohokushinsha Corp (R0)
King of Kings (1961) Warner (R1, R2, R3, R4)
The Savage Innocents (1960) MoC (R2)
"On Trial" (1 episode, 1959)
Party Girl (1958) Warner (R2)
Wind Across the Everglades (1958)
Bitter Victory (1957) Columbia (R1)
The True Story of Jesse James (1957) Fox (R1)
Bigger Than Life (1956) BFI (R2)
Hot Blood (1956) Sony (R2, R4, R5)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Warner (R1, R2, R3, R4)
Run for Cover (1955)
"General Electric Theater" (1 episode, 1954)
Johnny Guitar (1954) Paramount (R2)
Androcles and the Lion (1952) (uncredited)
The Lusty Men (1952)
Macao (1952) (uncredited) Warner (R1, R4)
On Dangerous Ground (1952) Warner (R1)
The Racket (1951) (uncredited)
Flying Leathernecks (1951) Warner (R1, R4)
Born to Be Bad (1950)
In a Lonely Place (1950) Columbia (R1, R2, R4, R5)
Roseanna McCoy (1949) (uncredited)
A Woman's Secret (1949) Éditions Montparnasse (R2)
Knock on Any Door (1949) Columbia (R2)
They Live by Night (1948) Warner (R1)


Forum Discussions

Nicholas Ray and Warner DVD

Nicholas Ray on DVD

The Savage Innocents


Web Resources

Overview by Jonathan Roenbaum

Finding the Father: A Psychoanalytic Study of Rebel Without a Cause

Shadows on the Horizon: In a Lonely Place

Nicholas Ray, a Sentimental Bloke

Compiled by: Gringo Tex


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 12:46 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
James Franco dissects a scene from Rebel Without A Cause.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:26 pm
Location: Over Yonder
There's a Nicholas Ray retrospective at Film Forum in NYC running the next two weeks. In A Lonely Place is playing for a week, starting last Friday.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Cambridge, England
Knock on any Door is being released in the UK in October.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:49 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
tojoed wrote:
Knock on any Door is being released in the UK in October.


I see it's an Orbit release, though - usually means PD quality. I think I'll stick with my off-air VHS. Sony ought to release it in their upcoming noir series. (Edit: I see there are Spanish and Japanese official releases, though they usually work out expensive for UK buyers.)

I wish someone would release The Lusty Men. My film tutor - a friend of Ray's in his last years - thought it was his greatest film. I didn't quite agree when I studied it many times 30 years ago but I'd welcome the chance to re-assess it.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:06 pm 
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Lusty Men is a great Ray, great Ray. One of Mitchum's two or three best performances. To paraphrase Glenn Kenny on Lonely Place this is a central Ray "Lonely Men" picture.
There was a very nice laser of this in the 90s from a good print so it should be a candidate for Warner Archive.

Still missing in action Wind Across the Everglades which is also Warner, but has never had a homevid release. THe early prints were Technicolor but the only boot I've seen of this looks soft and awful and washed out.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Born to Be Bad is available on DVD in Spain.
It's a minor Ray, still enjoyable thanks to Joan Fontaine playing against type and the ever reliable - and underrated - Robert Ryan.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:04 am 
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There's also a French release - Editions Montparnasse.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:10 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:18 am
Wind Across The Everglades screened last night at the Film Forum. Must be seen to be believed; it almost approaches the gonzo majesty of Johnny Guitar or Bigger Than Life from a different angle, though it's not as solid. Beautifully done, but I wonder how much of the final product was Schulberg after he fired Ray.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:59 pm 
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I'm plugging up my Ray gaps and oof, is there anyone anywhere who can present a defense of Flying Leathernecks? Because my initial impression is that not only is it the worst Ray film, it's one of the worst John Wayne films-- and that's an even more competitive category! Ryan looks like he's about to burst out laughing at any given moment and Wayne has never looked more bored on-screen. The only really successful moment comes early in the film, when the various recipients of a 10-word telegram elaborate wildly on the thoughts of the servicemen for a variety of audiences. Were that the whole film had as much beauty as that sequence. As a sharp contrast, how about that dreadful scene with the little kid waving around a real samurai sword in his bed-- I'm not sure he's gonna make it long enough to attend any of the colleges advertised on the pendants affixed to his bedroom wall!


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Location: The Shire
I just watched Johnny Guitar on TCM tonight, and I can tell you, it's my second favorite Sterling Hayden performance, and a great Nick Ray. I don't know what it is about the Duke's Ray that makes it so unappealing, but it just doesn't work. My favorite NR film will always be The Savage Innocents. But I can't mount a defense for Leathernecks. Because it just doesn't work, on so many levels.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:46 pm 
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Blaming Ray for Flying Leathernecks is like holding Larry Brown responsible for the 2005-06 Knicks. Sure Ray was the director but he had virtually no input on casting, the script, etc. Howard Hughes told him to make it for RKO so he did, after Hughes had presumably kept Ray off the Blacklist.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:36 am 
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Location: Worthing
Jonathan S wrote:
tojoed wrote:
Knock on any Door is being released in the UK in October.

I see it's an Orbit release, though - usually means PD quality. I think I'll stick with my off-air VHS.

You'd be wise to - the picture quality might well be better, and there's presumably no standards conversion. And this is a final shrinkwrapped release copy, not a DVD-R or other interim version, so I'm afraid that's official.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:31 am 
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Location: OOP is the only answer
Are the Spanish editions superior to Orbit though?


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:13 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
MichaelB wrote:
Jonathan S wrote:
tojoed wrote:
Knock on any Door is being released in the UK in October.

I see it's an Orbit release, though - usually means PD quality. I think I'll stick with my off-air VHS.

You'd be wise to - the picture quality might well be better, and there's presumably no standards conversion. And this is a final shrinkwrapped release copy, not a DVD-R or other interim version, so I'm afraid that's official.

Thanks for the confirmation, Michael. It's especially ironic if this Orbit release is an "unofficial" tranfer as it's a Columbia film and part of MovieMail's list of exclusives, most of them Columbias that are official Sony-licensed transfers! It's £2-4 cheaper than those, but unwary buyers might easily assume this was another title that MovieMail licensed directly from Sony. If Orbit have licensed it, then surely the transfer would be a lot better than you imply.

I'm puzzled that Orbit seem to be treating a number of classics (from various studios) as PD that nobody else appears to regard as such - and quite a few of them are listed as MoveMail exclusives. Surely if such titles as Dancing Lady, The Narrow Margin (1952), The Prince and the Pauper (1937), Barbary Coast and Knock on any Door really were PD in the UK, then lots of other small DVD labels would be releasing them, as happened with other big studio titles that fell out of copyright? (These all have Orbit-type catalogue numbers though MovieMail give the publisher in some cases as "PALL" - rather appropriate! All of them, incidentally, are scheduled on Amazon UK for March/April 2010 release by "Cornerstone Media", but I suspect that may be another name for Orbit.)

Even if these are perfectly legal in the UK - either because they really are PD or in the unlikely event Orbit licensed them from the various companies - I think MovieMail risk tarnishing their high reputation by promoting them if the transfers are as poor as you are imply about this one, which seems to be on the same level as previous Orbit releases. And if they are illegal....


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:42 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:01 am
Hi Nicholas,

After reviewing your Blogg, I have to tell you that Cornerstone Media is not Orbit Media and currently represents a catalogue of over two and a half thousand titles from every genre. The company has fifty labels that it has sales and distribution agreements with and yes one of those it Orbit. However the titles you are refering to are actually Palladium Pictures releases and are not PD titles, the quality of the prints are of a high standard not VHS transfers and I would be happy to send you samples if you so wish to show you...

Cornerstone is my company, we are not a two bit opperation but a small collection of people like you who love films and content and want to help get them back into the market where they have been missed and wanted.

Please keep up the Bloggs and if there is an old title that you would love to see returned to the market, I am more than happy to see if we can get one of our Clients to source the rights to release it.

Regards

Nick


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:28 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
coopernick wrote:
Hi Nicholas,

Are you addressing Nicholas Ray? If so, he is the (long-deceased) director of Knock on any Door, the film we were primarily discussing. This page isn't a "Blogg" but a thread of contributions from various members, including myself, about Nicholas Ray. My apologies if I've misunderstood you.

coopernick wrote:
However the titles you are refering to are actually Palladium Pictures releases and are not PD titles, the quality of the prints are of a high standard

If Knock on any Door is one of the releases you are referring to, then MichaelB (a professional reviewer) would appear to disagree with you in his post above, but I'll leave it to him to respond if he wishes to. I haven't seen the disc. Incidentally, MovieMail - who currently claim this is an exclusive - indicate on their website that this is an Orbit release, so maybe you should contact them if it's a Palladium product.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Location: Worthing
Quote:
However the titles you are refering to are actually Palladium Pictures releases and are not PD titles, the quality of the prints are of a high standard not VHS transfers and I would be happy to send you samples if you so wish to show you...

I have no idea whether or not it's a PD title - all I have is the evidence of the DVD that I watched over the weekend. And, to be fair, the source print does appear to be in pretty decent condition.

However - and it's a pretty gargantuan however - the disc is massively compromised by one of the most inept NTSC-to-PAL standards conversions I've encountered in a long, long time (the original line structure is distractingly visible throughout, as it's been accentuated by the conversion to a different resolution, and any kind of action triggers ghosting galore that's all too visible during normal playback), and the picture is so soft that I'm afraid "VHS quality" is a pretty fair description of the overall lack of detail.

I would post frame grabs, but I'm at home and the disc is in the office - but I'll happily upload some tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:00 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:01 am
The quality of titles released are very much dependant on materials available and do appriciate that on occasions companies do not give the classics the attention they deserve before releasing them and are just interested in making a quick buck. But this is not the case in this instance.

You guys are the reason that it is always a pleasure to find classic titles and put them to market and I will ensure that Orbit and Palladium up their game in future to give you what you want.

PD is an excuse in a lot of cases to releases titles that some dont believe they have the rights to but again not in this case, a lot of the time these films do not see the light of day not because they dont have rights to release but because there is no materials to release them.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:08 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
coopernick wrote:
However the titles you are refering to are actually Palladium Pictures releases and are not PD titles

So, just to clarify (and sidestepping quality issues for a moment), such Palladium releases as Dancing Lady and The Prince and the Pauper (1937) are officially licensed from Warner Bros? And Knock on any Door is licensed from Sony?

By the way, HMV as well as MovieMail are listing Knock on any Door as an "exclusive" (from 16 Nov).


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:01 am
Although I appriciate your interest in how these titles are obtained, we are the sales representatives and are not involved in the aquisitions for our clients.

However as an man of intelegence you can appriciate that these matters are not as cut and dry and you are making it out.

I am sorry if I can't be more help

Regards

Nick


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:37 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
coopernick wrote:
these matters are not as cut and dry and you are making it out.

Well, you seem to be clear (above) they are not PD titles and if that is the case then, as far as I'm aware, the worldwide rights are owned by Warner Bros. and Sony, who have given them official releases in other regions. But thank you for your reply, which tells me all I need to know.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Nicholas Ray's restored version of the experimental We Can't Go Home Again will be shown at the 68th Venice film festival in 2011.


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:54 pm 

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:29 pm
I just looked at all the 'Cornerstone Media' titles on Amazon and I can say that nearly every one of them I can see is an Orbit Media title. What other labels do you distribute? If Palladium Pictures has nothing to with Orbit (and you infer that the use of the word "however") it's a bit odd that 'Orbit Media Ltd' paid for all their BBFC certificates.

DANCING LADY
KNOCK ON ANY DOOR
KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE
THE NARROW MARGIN
THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER


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 Post subject: Re: Nicholas Ray
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:31 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
Well done for recovering that initial post! Although I'm the last person to defend Cornerstone Media (see above) they do at least display the logos for nine different labels, including Orbit Media, on their website. They distribute everything from Swing Club Gang Bang to Yoga and Your Back (though maybe those two complement each other). On their category search I found 24 titles under "Classic" and 988 titles under "Adult".


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